October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. As breast cancer is highlighted this month, Independence Blue Cross reminds women to monitor their breast health through mammograms, clinical breast exams and breast self-exams.
The Centers for Disease Control also offers the following list of risk factors for breast cancer. By having one or more of these risk factors it does not mean you will be guaranteed to get breast cancer, but it is good to discuss them with your doctor.
Being younger when you first had your menstrual period.
Starting menopause at a later age.
Being older at the birth of your first child.
Never giving birth.
Personal history of breast cancer or some non-cancerous breast diseases.
Family history of breast cancer (mother, sister, daughter).
Treatment with radiation therapy to the breast/chest.
Being overweight (increases risk for breast cancer after menopause).
Long-term use of hormone replacement therapy (estrogen and progesterone combined).
Having changes in the breast cancer-related genes BRCA1 or BRCA2.
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